No matter how serious the offense, finding out you have a warrant out for your arrest is a scary, uncertain experience. Depending on the state in which you live and the circumstances surrounding your case, in most instances, it is best to turn yourself in. Before you step into the local police office, here are a few do's and don'ts to keep in mind while surrendering yourself:
Do Contact a Lawyer First
Before you even consider surrendering yourself, your first step should be contacting a lawyer. It is especially important to contact a criminal defense attorney if this is your first appearance before the judge, or if you don't know the specifics of your case. The attorney will help you find out exactly why a warrant has been issued for your arrest and the bond amount. Most importantly, if you are on probation, the attorney can help you learn if the charges will impact your arrangement.
In addition to getting a head start on your case, your attorney will be the individual who actually arranges your surrender. This will not only help get the ball rolling, it will also make your surrender go much more smoothly. The criminal defense attorney also has the ability to work with the prosecutor on your case. This could help reduce your bond amount or even allow you to walk away from the situation without even having to step foot in the police station.
If you do not hire a lawyer prior to surrendering yourself, it could be several days or even weeks before you are free to seek legal representation. This is why it is critical that you hire an attorney before taking the first step.
Don't Say Too Much
Whether you hire an attorney or choose to surrender yourself without legal representation, you will be asked several questions once you enter the police station. You are not obligated to answer any questions about your case. Instead, simply let the police officer know your name and that you have a warrant for your arrest and are surrendering yourself.
While you are being processed, do not be surprised if you are asked several questions, or if there are hold-ups or the entire ordeal takes much longer than you expected.
Do Find a Bail Bondsman
Depending on the severity of your crime or what you are being charged with, you will in many cases have the opportunity to post bail. Once again, hiring an attorney prior to surrendering yourself is critical because they can help get your bail reduced significantly, or you may be released without bond.
If the bail amount is small, you may be able to pay the fee and be released immediately. However, in many cases, you will need to contact a bail bondsman.
If you're unfamiliar with the process, basically a bail bondsman asks for a small amount of the bond amount up front. According to Nolo, this fee is typically around 10 percent of the total bail amount. If your bond amount is excessive, the bail bondsman might ask for collateral.
Once the bond is posted, you are free to go. If you are unable to pay the full amount of the bail, or if your attorney is unable to get your bail amount reduced, don't hesitate to contact a professional. A knowledgeable bondsman will help guide your family through the process, which in turn will help you get out of jail that much quicker.
Finding out there is a warrant out for your arrest can be an overwhelming experience. If you are considering surrendering yourself, it is vital to first contact an attorney. Additionally, it is vital to not say too much and contact a local bail bondsman to ensure you don't needlessly spend time in jail. Why not look here for more information.Share